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Lawmakers Propose Assault Weapons Ban

A pair of Pennsylvania state senators are once again proposing legislation to ban assault weapons in the Commonwealth.

Sens. Steve Santarsiero (D-Bucks) and John Kane (D-Chester / Delaware) plan to introduce legislation that would mirror language that is similar to what was enacted in Connecticut after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

The legislation would broaden the definition of an assault weapon in the Commonwealth and could ban as many as 150 different gun models. It will also ban the sale of gun magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds, as well as provide for a voluntary buy-back program for individuals that currently own firearms that would now fall under this legislation.

A similar bill was brought forward in 2022 (SB 1300) and received co-sponsorship from 15 Democratic senators.

Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act (Title 18, Section 6101) regulates the possession and use of firearms within the Commonwealth. The definition of a firearm within the Commonwealth is “any pistol or revolver with a barrel length less than 15”, any shotgun with a barrel length less than 18” inches, any rifle with a barrel length less than 16”, or any pistol, revolver, rifle, or shotgun with an overall length of less than 26”. Pennsylvania determines the barrel length of the firearm by measuring from the muzzle barrel to the face of the closed action, bolt, or cylinder, whichever is applicable to that particular weapon.

In their co-sponsorship memo, Santarsiero and Kane wrote “Assault weapons and high-capacity magazines have repeatedly been used to commit some of the worst mass shootings in modern U.S. history, and they contribute to the daily toll of gun violence in communities around the Commonwealth. These military-style weapons have no place in civilian society.

“In 2013, after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which left 26 people dead, including 19 young children, states like Maryland, New York, and Connecticut enacted assault weapons bans and other common-sense solutions. Pennsylvania, in contrast, followed the example of Congress and took no meaningful action on gun control.

“Unlike many other states, Pennsylvania does not limit the type of weapon which a person may possess; both assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are legal to own in the Commonwealth.

“With each passing day that we fail to enact reasonable gun reforms, we are choosing to protect the gun lobby and firearm manufacturers over the lives of all Pennsylvanians.”

12 Responses

  1. Guess that these Senators have not read the PA Constitution that says. The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned

      1. I can see you are an intelligent adult when you disregard our constitution for legislation that will have no impact on its intended purpose.

        You should run for office.

        1. No rational nation would tolerate mass shootings because some obscure document gives citizens the right to bear arms. F**k the Constitution and yes I intend to run for the General Assembly.

          1. I think maybe you should look at the history of nations who’ve banned firearms from their citizens.. but you’re a democrat.. I don’t expect you to read anything let alone consider any factual information. Enjoy a lifetime of being subhuman.

    1. Yes! Everyone knows violent crime goes down in the US where these kinds of reforms are implemented.

      Those guns grab people’s fingers and make them start shooting people indiscriminately!

    2. There was a shooting today- 60 rounds at a group of teens.

      It’s all because of guns and magazine capacity.

      That is definitely what we should look at addresing.


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